Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’
Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
What we lack, or have lost, always seems more precious to us than what we possess. Perhaps this reflects a spiritual reality, too. No matter how much we acquire of material things, our hearts remain in a state of restless longing for an indefinable “more.” And paradoxically, in our loss and emptiness, there is at last space for God to enter and fill the space that no other can satisfy.
—Margaret Silf, 2010: A Book of Grace-Filled Days © 2010 Loyola Press, Chicago IL. For more Ignatian spiritual resources from Loyola Press, please visit www.loyolapress.com
Lord, your truth is hard to hear. No room for a sugarcoating discipleship. When we surrender our will to you, the cross becomes our companion. It’s tough to risk reputation, to walk away from a friendship, to start over, or be misrepresented because we value faithfulness to you above all else. Why are we always surprised when we suffer from the truth? You tell us this reality is inevitable. Is the cost worth it? Do we really want to make this long distance run for you? If we never ask these questions, we simply drift a hostage to the ups and downs of life. Lord, we place all of our hopes in you. We trust that our cross will create a space for you to dwell. And there we will experience a peace and a fulfillment that brings meaning to what otherwise could be senseless suffering.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!